If you are a fan of I, Claudius, and if you've ever wondered what life must have been like during his reign, then this book will tell you. Covering the era from the days of Claudius to the reign of Hadrian - and in some cases beyond; this book shows you what ancient life would have been like at the height of Roman power.
It was first written over fifty years ago by French scholar Jerome Carpcopino, who died in 1970. In all those years it remains in print, and in many ways its never been surpassed for its scholarship and readability.
This shouldn't be seen as a chronological tour through Roman history, instead its a thematic guide to Roman culture and society. The book covers a diverse set of topics such as houses and streets; society and social class; marriage, woman and the family; and education and religion. In the second half of the book it even covers the typical day of a Roman, be he either rich or poor, from morning to night. It is here we learn about the little details of Roman life, from the pleasures of the bath (although sometimes it could be noisy and chaotic) to gambling and the theatre.
If you want a readable and erudite study of Roman life then this book has never been bettered. A brilliant guide to the period, although you might need some very basic background in Roman history to get the greatest possible enjoyment out of the book. That said, this book would be a great read for layperson and expert alike, and a must read for Classics students. Highly Recommended!